Advice on IT Certification program

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
tech_arch
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 11:47 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by tech_arch » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:09 am

OP,

Your kid has a 4-year degree and couldn't get a job in a year? Why is that? Are the jobs just not in demand? Does Kid have trouble getting interviews, interview poorly, or something else? What makes Kid think the job search would be different this time around? Is the change just a "grasping at straws" change, or genuine interest?

If IT is a genuine interest, has Kid tried meetup.com for networking?

Overall, I'd be wary about going back to school if it doesn't help address the root cause of problem they're already experiencing.

TallBoy29er
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by TallBoy29er » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:16 am

delamer wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:23 pm
aleckchet wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:09 pm
rgs92 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:53 pm
The first course is
NWIT 127 - Microcomputer Essentials 3 semester hours.
That's 40+ year-old terminology.
Can't agree more. I started my IT career in 1996. This look like one of the courses I took several years before that and it was old tech even then. The entire curriculum looks like it was taken from and early 90es college catalog.

If the kid is really desperate and is eager to get any entry level IT job, I guess these courses are good enough to get a paper that says he knows some computer stuff. This would be sufficient to get him hired working help desk, fixing user laptops by rebooting them, etc. But there are plenty of courses in community colleges that can get him foundation for a much more interesting and lucrative career: cybersecurity, cloud computing, devops, etc.
Are there cybersecurity certifications worth considering, as an alternative to network administration?
The first that comes to mind is a CISSP certification. This is not a cake walk to obtain. That is also what makes it a worthwhile cert. It covers 8 domains of security, and provides a respected foundation for cyber.

There are also GIAC certs, such as the GIAC (global information assurance certification) Information Security Professional, that carry weight.

There is a company called SANS https://www.sans.org/ that has solid, in depth, well respected training programs for these two, as well as other, cyber certs. Their teachers are high end. The classes are not cheap, but if you go down the security road, they are well worth it, and well known.

delamer
Posts: 5096
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by delamer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:16 pm

To address an issue that a couple people raised, Kid made the mistake of not doing an internship in college.

I believe that has held Kid back when job hunting. Kid has some typical “summer job” work experience, but that’s it. Kid has had a few interviews but no offers.

As I mentioned, Kid enjoyed putting together a desktop computer to Kid’s own specifications so the hardware end of IT seemed like a possible fit. Also, even if Kid ends up in a different field, having expanded tech understanding never hurts. Hence, the idea to get the certificate at the community college with the added benefit of doing somebody productive while job hunting.

While I appreciate all the help, I’ll be blunt — critiques of Kid’s past choices aren’t useful and won’t be acknowledged. EDIT: I made this comment expecting criticisms about the lack of an internship. My point is that what’s done is done and I won’t revisit the issue.

Ideas for career choices related to IT, or other fields, are welcome.

Dottie57
Posts: 3639
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:58 pm

bampf wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:09 pm
I run a large engineering team. Frankly, I don't actually think these certificates are worth very much in and of themselves. Much of IT/Computer Technology is driven from the ground up. Before you spend a lot of time on coursework have your child build a network. If they can do that I guarantee that they will find a job. It sounds stupid hard. It really isn't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJDXb31UwPI.
Start there.

If that doesn't freak them out, go here: https://www.slideshare.net/steve_robert ... n-openflow
If that still doesn't freak them out, then start using google to explore building a base raspberry pi config...

Start at NOOBs
https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/

If they can get through a base OS config, then they can start building the switch and google is most definitely their friend. I guarantee that someone that can build a switch from the ground up will more than impress the heck out of a hiring manger. If they can't do that after poking around at it for a few days, then this is the wrong career field.

Put another way, most of this training is out there for free. For instance, Khan Academy has some of the essentials:
https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/c ... ters-work2
https://www.khanacademy.org/about/internet-essentials

Most of it requires a curious mind and a willingness to explore. If they aren't willing to do that, then you are wasting your money, IMHO.
Would you really consider hiring someone who could navigate this? Sometime next year I am thinking of going back to work if I can find work that is somewhat related to what I used to do. -software developer.

Dottie57
Posts: 3639
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:08 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:16 pm
To address an issue that a couple people raised, Kid made the mistake of not doing an internship in college.

I believe that has held Kid back when job hunting. Kid has some typical “summer job” work experience, but that’s it. Kid has had a few interviews but no offers.

As I mentioned, Kid enjoyed putting together a desktop computer to Kid’s own specifications so the hardware end of IT seemed like a possible fit. Also, even if Kid ends up in a different field, having expanded tech understanding never hurts. Hence, the idea to get the certificate at the community college with the added benefit of doing somebody productive while job hunting.

While I appreciate all the help, I’ll be blunt — critiques of Kid’s past choices aren’t useful and won’t be acknowledged. EDIT: I made this comment expecting criticisms about the lack of an internship. My point is that what’s done is done and I won’t revisit the issue.

Ideas for career choices related to IT, or other fields, are welcome.
Delamer, I was a kid with my head in the clouds. I graduated with a poly s I degree in 1979 - my degree was a big mistake. I did temp work, then admin assist job and finally went back to school - programming school well regarded in Twin Cities. My first full time programming job started March of 1982. I was a developer for over 30 years.

I retired earlier this year .. all worked out well. You can do well in life even if your choices at the start are not optimal. I learned what I did not want and worked at finding a better path. I think it turned out well.

Lynette
Posts: 1729
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:47 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by Lynette » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:16 pm

I've done about everything - History and Latin teacher, accounting and finally landed up spending most of my career in IT. Experience was on-the-job in the same corporation - moving laterally. I recommend attending classes at a community college even if it does not lead directly to a job. Kid will be in touch with other students also following same career path. Years ago I took classes in C, etc. etc at a community college. In the end it is all about networking and once you get the first job .. Best wishes to Kid and you.

Lynette

User avatar
Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 6:17 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:25 pm

I recommend saving the time and money and going the self-study route. It worked for me. Depends on one's personal drive, discipline to study, and desire to learn.

*Any* Bachelor's degree, even unrelated to IT/CS, is enough to get past many/most HR screening. I'm quite cynical, but I believe undergrad degree for an IT career is worthless and obsolete and much is learned both from self-study and from on-the-job experience and training. The biggest hurdle is getting one's foot in the door and getting actual IT job experience on the resume.

I'm a big believer in being humble/modest (even if one "knows a lot" about computers/technology) and studying the fundamentals from the ground up.

To that end, I recommend starting with the CompTIA trifecta of entry-level certifications and studying them in-depth. Here are the 3 certifications and the materials I recommend for self-study. I recommend going in this order, too, since they build off each other, and each one renews previous ones (they expire in 3 years but don't worry about that).
  1. CompTIA A+
    • ProfessorMesser.com video series (free)
    • Professor Messer PDF study guide (cheap, $10-20)
    • A+ All-In-One Exam Guide study guide by Mike Meyers - read cover-to-cover and take notes
  2. CompTIA Network+
    • ProfessorMesser.com video series (free)
    • Professor Messer PDF study guide (cheap, $10-20)
    • Network+ All-In-One Exam Guide study guide by Mike Meyers - read cover-to-cover and take notes
    • Network+ mobile app by Darril Gibson (cheap <$10) - lots of practice questions, explains why correct answers are correct and incorrect answers are incorrect
  3. CompTIA Security+
    • ProfessorMesser.com video series (free)
    • Professor Messer PDF study guide (cheap, $10-20)
    • Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead study guide by Darril Gibson - read cover-to-cover and take notes
    • Security+ mobile app by Darril Gibson (cheap <$10) - lots of practice questions, explains why correct answers are correct and incorrect answers are incorrect
The above sources should be more than adequate to build both a solid foundation and ace the certification exams. Be sure to print out the official CompTIA exam objectives for each exam and use as a check-list to see if one has learned all the material. Avoid any "exam dumps" with actual exam questions -- highly unethical and cheating. Avoid paying full price when registering for each exam. If your kid still has access to his/her *.edu e-mail address, can purchase heavily discounted exam vouchers from CompTIA's Academic marketplace. Can also occasionally find cheaper vouchers on both eBay and sites like getcertified4less.com. (A voucher is basically a code that represents the exam price. Buy the voucher first, then use the code when registering for the exam on Pearson VUE website.)

Building a foundational knowledge base and getting one's foot in the door are important prior to specializing in any sub-fields within IT such as networking, security, Windows system administration, Unix/Linux system administration, database administration, application administration, DevOps, etc.

The next self-study step for networking is Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). The certification is now on its 3rd revision and has the right level of difficulty. There are two main study guides (huge books) for CCNA: one by Todd Lamle and another by Wendell Odom. Many other apps for practice exams and lots of various video series online from sites like CBTNuggets.com and others.

I've personally had lots of luck getting IT jobs through Dice.com. I hear others also use LinkedIn and Indeed.com.

Another popular certification path that many HR Departments and IT Managers/Directors like to see is ITIL Foundations. It's quite easy, low score needed to pass the exam. It's also very "Britishy" and very dry material, so press on and get it over with. Pretty expensive for the exam but it pays off.

Good luck! Getting one's foot in the door with Service Desk or Desktop Support roles is very common. Work hard and network, and within 1 year or less should be able to apply for higher, more specialized positions such as in networking or system administration, both at current company or other companies.

Edited to Add: Avoid being too heavy on certifications, especially with no job experience. Too many "paper CCNAs" and "paper MCSEs" out there. Certifications aren't all worthless, but they're also not the end-all, be-all. Do avoid going overboard. Recommend some entry-level certifications, work an entry-level job, then apply for specialist jobs, adding Cisco or Microsoft or other higher-level certifications as one progresses in career.

Edit 2: Programming/software development/software engineering is another popular career path in computers and technology. It can be considered part of IT but can also be considered a wholly separate field from IT. If your kid enjoys programming/coding software, it's its own career path. Don't worry about certifications for a software career. Probably learn software development life cycle concepts such as Agile/Scrum.
Last edited by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon on Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.

delamer
Posts: 5096
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by delamer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:34 pm

Dottie57 and Lynette — thanks for the encouraging words.

“Many roads to Dublin” is the relevant expression, I believe.

delamer
Posts: 5096
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by delamer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:36 pm

Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:25 pm
I recommend saving the time and money and going the self-study route. It worked for me. Depends on one's personal drive, discipline to study, and desire to learn.

*Any* Bachelor's degree, even unrelated to IT/CS, is enough to get past many/most HR screening. I'm quite cynical, but I believe undergrad degree for an IT career is worthless and obsolete and much is learned both from self-study and from on-the-job experience and training. The biggest hurdle is getting one's foot in the door and getting actual IT job experience on the resume.

I'm a big believer in being humble/modest (even if one "knows a lot" about computers/technology) and studying the fundamentals from the ground up.

To that end, I recommend starting with the CompTIA trifecta of entry-level certifications and studying them in-depth. Here are the 3 certifications and the materials I recommend for self-study:
  1. CompTIA A+
    • ProfessorMesser.com video series (free)
    • Professor Messer PDF study guide (cheap, $10-20)
    • A+ All-In-One Exam Guide study guide by Mike Meyers - read cover-to-cover and take notes
  2. CompTIA Network+
    • ProfessorMesser.com video series (free)
    • Professor Messer PDF study guide (cheap, $10-20)
    • Network+ All-In-One Exam Guide study guide by Mike Meyers - read cover-to-cover and take notes
    • Network+ mobile app by Darril Gibson (cheap <$10) - lots of practice questions, explains why correct answers are correct and incorrect answers are incorrect
  3. CompTIA Security+
    • ProfessorMesser.com video series (free)
    • Professor Messer PDF study guide (cheap, $10-20)
    • Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead study guide by Darril Gibson - read cover-to-cover and take notes
    • Security+ mobile app by Darril Gibson (cheap <$10) - lots of practice questions, explains why correct answers are correct and incorrect answers are incorrect
The above sources should be more than adequate to build both a solid foundation and ace the certification exams. Be sure to print out the official CompTIA exam objectives for each exam and use as a check-list to see if one has learned all the material. Avoid any "exam dumps" with actual exam questions -- highly unethical and cheating. Avoid paying full price when registering for each exam. If your kid still has access to his/her *.edu e-mail address, can purchase heavily discounted exam vouchers from CompTIA's Academic marketplace. Can also occasionally find cheaper vouchers on both eBay and sites like getcertified4less.com. (A voucher is basically a code that represents the exam price. Buy the voucher first, then use the code when registering for the exam on Pearson VUE website.)

Building a foundational knowledge base and getting one's foot in the door are important prior to specializing in any sub-fields within IT such as networking, security, Windows system administration, Unix/Linux system administration, database administration, application administration, DevOps, etc.

The next self-study step for networking is Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). The certification is now on its 3rd revision and has the right level of difficulty. There are two main study guides (huge books) for CCNA: one by Todd Lamle and another by Wendell Odom. Many other apps for practice exams and lots of various video series online from sites like CBTNuggets.com and others.

I've personally had lots of luck getting IT jobs through Dice.com. I hear others also use LinkedIn and Indeed.com.

Another popular certification path that many HR Departments and IT Managers/Directors like to see is ITIL Foundations. It's quite easy, low score needed to pass the exam. Pretty expensive for the exam but it pays off.

Good luck! Getting one's foot in the door with Service Desk or Desktop Support roles is very common. Work hard and network, and within 1 year or less should be able to apply for higher, more specialized positions such as in networking or system administration, both at current company or other companies.

Edited to Add: Avoid being too heavy on certifications, especially with no job experience. Too many "paper CCNAs" and "paper MCSEs" out there. Certifications aren't all worthless, but they're also not the end-all, be-all, do avoid going overboard. Recommend some entry-level certifications, work an entry-level job, then apply for specialist jobs, adding Cisco or Microsoft or other higher-level certifications as one progresses in career.
Many thanks for all of the detailed advice.

KlangFool
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:09 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:16 pm

Kid has had a few interviews but no offers.
delamer,

Get the book. It may help him/her in the interviewing process.

https://www.amazon.com/Ask-Headhunter-R ... 0452278015

KlangFool

delamer
Posts: 5096
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by delamer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:30 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:09 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:16 pm

Kid has had a few interviews but no offers.
delamer,

Get the book. It may help him/her in the interviewing process.

https://www.amazon.com/Ask-Headhunter-R ... 0452278015

KlangFool

Thanks; will pass this along.

bampf
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by bampf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:58 pm

Would you really consider hiring someone who could navigate this? Sometime next year I am thinking of going back to work if I can find work that is somewhat related to what I used to do. -software developer.
I don't run networking, but, yes, I would. I do it all the time with other items.

boglegirl
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by boglegirl » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:47 pm

I read through the thread and don't think I saw this asked/answered:
Is Kid tech-savvy and INTERESTED in an IT career? My "kid" (22yo) started working a part-time tech-support job when he was 16 without any experience - just because he knew stuff that impressed the interviewer. He continued to work part-time jobs in tech while attending college (not in a technical field). He's taking a break from college now and working full-time, and will make $60k this year + full benefits, just because he knows stuff. I really think this aptitude is as important as any certificate.

audioaxes
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:16 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by audioaxes » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:55 pm

Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:25 pm

*Any* Bachelor's degree, even unrelated to IT/CS, is enough to get past many/most HR screening. I'm quite cynical, but I believe undergrad degree for an IT career is worthless and obsolete and much is learned both from self-study and from on-the-job experience and training. The biggest hurdle is getting one's foot in the door and getting actual IT job experience on the resume.
I wouldnt say that about all IT careers
CS degrees still hold plenty weight on the software development side of things. At my job nearly every developer has a CS or closely related degree and when we hire entry level developers pretty much the first step we do is check the applicants education to establish a presumptive baseline of knowledge.

KlangFool
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:22 pm

boglegirl wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:47 pm
I read through the thread and don't think I saw this asked/answered:
Is Kid tech-savvy and INTERESTED in an IT career? My "kid" (22yo) started working a part-time tech-support job when he was 16 without any experience - just because he knew stuff that impressed the interviewer. He continued to work part-time jobs in tech while attending college (not in a technical field). He's taking a break from college now and working full-time, and will make $60k this year + full benefits, just because he knows stuff. I really think this aptitude is as important as any certificate.
boglegirl,

Come on. Some folks do take longer to find out what their real interest in life is.

My other nephew had a degree in Chemical Engineering and he had a great CGPA. But, after he graduated, he found that he is not interested in Chemical Engineering. After 1 year of not finding any job, he went back and got a master degree in computation mathematics. He found a job as a software developer right after the master degree with a starting salary in 6 figures.

KlangFool

rgs92
Posts: 1985
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by rgs92 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:32 pm

I'd kind of be embarrassed that I took a course called Microcomputer Essentials. I would actaully not disclose that I took this. It might work against him.

I would suggest that he try a free youtube course in something like Java or C or shell or perl maybe, do some exercises and see if he likes it.

(You can get the software for free on a PC if you hunt around. Finding it and getting it up and running is itself a good exercise to see if you get frustrated or enjoy it.)

Hint: look up Cygwin.

User avatar
Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 6:17 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:35 pm

audioaxes wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:55 pm
Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:25 pm

*Any* Bachelor's degree, even unrelated to IT/CS, is enough to get past many/most HR screening. I'm quite cynical, but I believe undergrad degree for an IT career is worthless and obsolete and much is learned both from self-study and from on-the-job experience and training. The biggest hurdle is getting one's foot in the door and getting actual IT job experience on the resume.
I wouldnt say that about all IT careers
CS degrees still hold plenty weight on the software development side of things. At my job nearly every developer has a CS or closely related degree and when we hire entry level developers pretty much the first step we do is check the applicants education to establish a presumptive baseline of knowledge.
Yep, completely agree that it matters more for a developer role. I consider software development separately from most IT departments. My statement was more geared towards non-developer roles in IT IT, in which case technology moves so fast that undergrad doesn't matter. It's just a checkbox for HR to use as a screening tool. Literally none of my undergrad CS or Comp Engr. courses helped me at all in my IT roles. All of it was either common sense from being a lifelong computer enthusiast, learning on the job, and looking things up in documentation or forums like StackExchange or TechNet.

Everything I've used in my IT roles has been self-taught. And even the stuff covered in a CompSci or business/IT degree program is available for free from a public library or YouTube or Khan Academy or Microsoft DreamSpark or from study guides from various certifications.

I say all this as a cynical person who's seen the light. There are some people who benefit from structured learning. I don't.

User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 1207
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:56 pm

It could be a foot in the door, which is all one needs to get started. He'll need talent to take him beyond that.

Once he gets an entry level job + experience, I'd suggest focusing on cloud training. There's an huge amount of online training available for that. That's what is in demand now. Network administrator is old school.

He already has a bachelor's, which is great, and a checkbox for most large companies.

jalbert
Posts: 3241
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by jalbert » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:06 pm

It is a limited level of training. For instance, there are limitations to the benefits of a course on Linux administration for someone who has not studied the fundamental principles of operating systems. It would be like taking a course on introduction to surgery without the fundamental science education that is an integral part of a medical training.
Index fund investor since 1987.

KlangFool
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:54 pm

jalbert wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:06 pm
It is a limited level of training. For instance, there are limitations to the benefits of a course on Linux administration for someone who has not studied the fundamental principles of operating systems. It would be like taking a course on introduction to surgery without the fundamental science education that is an integral part of a medical training.
jalbert,

1) I disagreed. I was a Unix System Administrator for a large oil company. I never took any course in the operating system. I read all the books on Unix System Administration in order to do my job.

2) In this case, the goal is for the OP's kid to prove that he/she is motivated and could self-study in some IT subject area. Then, someone like me could give him/her a shot to start in this area.

3) There are some folks like me that self-study almost everything in my area. We are not as crazy about whether someone has a degree in the IT area. But, if someone says that he/she is interested in the IT area, we would have to see some proof that he/she did something outside of the normal degree/course. We like hackers (the good old fashion meaning of hackers).

My question to my candidate would be what have you done to prove to me that

A) You are motivated to learn in this area

B) You self-study something without anyone asking you to do it.

C) If the person is interested in networking.

Do you read the book, "Computer Networks" by Andrew Tanenbaum? Tell me what you learn from the book? If someone is interested in networking, that book will be like a nice mystery novel to the person. If not, it will bore the person to death.

KlangFool

boglegirl
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by boglegirl » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:27 am

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:22 pm
boglegirl wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:47 pm
I read through the thread and don't think I saw this asked/answered:
Is Kid tech-savvy and INTERESTED in an IT career? My "kid" (22yo) started working a part-time tech-support job when he was 16 without any experience - just because he knew stuff that impressed the interviewer. He continued to work part-time jobs in tech while attending college (not in a technical field). He's taking a break from college now and working full-time, and will make $60k this year + full benefits, just because he knows stuff. I really think this aptitude is as important as any certificate.
boglegirl,

Come on. Some folks do take longer to find out what their real interest in life is.

My other nephew had a degree in Chemical Engineering and he had a great CGPA. But, after he graduated, he found that he is not interested in Chemical Engineering. After 1 year of not finding any job, he went back and got a master degree in computation mathematics. He found a job as a software developer right after the master degree with a starting salary in 6 figures.

KlangFool
:confused :confused
You seem to disagree with something but I'm not sure what it is.

The OP is asking for his son, if his son should pursue a technical certificate/degree. Delamer, I just wanted to make sure this is coming from your son, and that is in his area of interest and aptitude. I gave the example of my son for whom it was easy because he was interested and had aptitude. If it was an idea we'd come up with for him - it would not have worked out so well! Good luck to your son, and to you as assist him - you sound like you are a very caring parent.

jalbert
Posts: 3241
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by jalbert » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:19 am

1) I disagreed. I was a Unix System Administrator for a large oil company. I never took any course in the operating system. I read all the books on Unix System Administration in order to do my job.
Not every self-trained system administrator develops their skills to the level that you did.
Index fund investor since 1987.

gostars
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by gostars » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:02 am

A certification as listed by the OP would almost certainly not qualify anyone for any kind of networking job. It would qualify one for a helpdesk or desktop support job, perhaps with the opportunity to advance into networking with further studies and the right boss. If the goal is to jump straight into networking, then the Cisco or Juniper certification tracks would be far more useful.

leo383
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:36 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by leo383 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:24 am

My medium sized metro area has many opportunities for computer minded people to get together and learn/network/hang out. Just about all of them are free, or close to it. For example, meetup.com

I would suggest the kid sign up for the program at the college, but more importantly, attend every informal meetup/get together/event in the field he can while taking those classes. Really get to know some of the people who are doing it in your area. That's how he'll get a job when he's done.

danaht
Posts: 482
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:28 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by danaht » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:46 am

Another approach is to become the main (or only) IT support person at a small 20 to 50 person company. It's easy to get this type of job - because it doesn't pay much. Do this for a year - while also getting certificates in areas that you would like to work on (networking, programming, etc.) After a year, you will have some experience - and some certifications to help get a job with a mega corp - where you will make more money and get better benefits. This is the approach I took starting my IT career a long time ago in the mid 90s. note: starting out - I did have a degree in management information systems - but i had difficulty finding a good job at first. I started out during a small recession that happened a couple years before the .com boom started in the late 90s.

Drovor
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:50 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by Drovor » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:00 am

Focus on Comptia A+ and Network+ certifications while trying to land a Helpdesk job. Can then focus on more advanced network certificates like a CCNA while working in IT.

Chances of going directly into networking with no experience is slim to none.

bampf
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by bampf » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:47 am

Drovor wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:00 am
Focus on Comptia A+ and Network+ certifications while trying to land a Helpdesk job. Can then focus on more advanced network certificates like a CCNA while working in IT.

Chances of going directly into networking with no experience is slim to none.
I totally disagree, again. A big part of this has to do with luck, but, hustle and enthusiasm and a willingness to do literally anything will go a long way. If the kid can build a computer, is willing to learn basic linux commands and will be cheap and work hard, there are lots of folks looking for the new kid. At the entry level it is less about the "I know" than the willingness to learn. I got my first job because I was smart and hard working and I didn't know my butt from a hole in the ground. I was smart enough to know that and ran into a group that was willing to train. Yes, take courses. Yes, teach yourself. The easiest way to get in to a situation is as a contractor. No risk to the employer, no benefits and 6 months to prove yourself. Consider it like a paid six month interview. It can be done. I wouldn't go the helpdesk route. That is potentially awful and you can be trapped. Network, meetups, hack, giddyup. Sling code or at least scripts. Understand Chaos Monkey and agile. Get in the mix and you will be picked up.

Folks, in my experience, the biggest risk to technology right now is a complete lack of emerging talent in many many areas. The old folks are getting out. The new generation is driving snapchat and literally has no idea how technologies work. Yes, my experience is anecdotal. However, I have a real hard time finding people that have ever installed an OS much less understand packet cracking, lip storms, smb protocol violations, jumbo frames, resource contention, saturation, IOPs management, quotas and the list goes on.

If you are looking for the home run, its hard. (Home run would be a megacorp job at the $100K range with no experience). If you will take a job at $29 an hour as a contractor and just bust your rear end, then you can make a home. I am reasonably certain, at least in the US, that people on the low end/entry level with few skills but a technical aptitude can find something. As long as you aren't looking for a job in small town rural America. In many respects it isn't what you know at the starting level, it is "can you know" and who you know. I think this thread has largely run its course. There is a real hunger for emerging talent and hustle and drive. Show that you can do something and the what you did is less important. Best of luck to your kid OP.

KlangFool
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:55 am

jalbert wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:19 am
1) I disagreed. I was a Unix System Administrator for a large oil company. I never took any course in the operating system. I read all the books on Unix System Administration in order to do my job.
Not every self-trained system administrator develops their skills to the level that you did.
jalbert,

Our senior Cloud Architect has a B.S. in Finance.

KlangFool

delamer
Posts: 5096
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by delamer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:39 pm

Just wanted to thank everyone who shared their experiences and expertise.

I will be passing all the information onto Kid, and Kid will have to take it from there.

Time for some “adulting” on Kid’s part, as Kid’s older sibling likes to say.

jalbert
Posts: 3241
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by jalbert » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:41 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:55 am
jalbert wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:19 am
1) I disagreed. I was a Unix System Administrator for a large oil company. I never took any course in the operating system. I read all the books on Unix System Administration in order to do my job.
Not every self-trained system administrator develops their skills to the level that you did.
jalbert,

Our senior Cloud Architect has a B.S. in Finance.

KlangFool
I'm not sure what you are disagreeing with. I said the 4-course certification program was limited training, and you replied that if someone did what amounts to far more training on their own, they can be successful.

And, yes, you can get a job as an operating system administrator without a fundamental background in operating systems, but you can do that job more effectively if you understand how virtual memory, process scheduling, multithreading, file systems etc. work. Having good programming skills helps one develop operational scripts that are more reliable and maintainable, and also helps one better understand the needs of developers who may be your internal customers. Yes, all of that theoretically can be learned by mechanisms other than studying computer science at a university, including self-training.
Index fund investor since 1987.

KlangFool
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:24 pm

jalbert wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:41 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:55 am
jalbert wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:19 am
1) I disagreed. I was a Unix System Administrator for a large oil company. I never took any course in the operating system. I read all the books on Unix System Administration in order to do my job.
Not every self-trained system administrator develops their skills to the level that you did.
jalbert,

Our senior Cloud Architect has a B.S. in Finance.

KlangFool
I'm not sure what you are disagreeing with. I said the 4-course certification program was limited training, and you replied that if someone did what amounts to far more training on their own, they can be successful.

And, yes, you can get a job as an operating system administrator without a fundamental background in operating systems, but you can do that job more effectively if you understand how virtual memory, process scheduling, multithreading, file systems etc. work. Having good programming skills helps one develop operational scripts that are more reliable and maintainable, and also helps one better understand the needs of developers who may be your internal customers. Yes, all of that theoretically can be learned by mechanisms other than studying computer science at a university, including self-training.
jalbert,

1) I am trying to help OP's kid. He/she does not have a degree in computer science.

<< And, yes, you can get a job as an operating system administrator without a fundamental background in operating systems, but you can do that job more effectively if you understand how virtual memory, process scheduling, multithreading, file systems etc. work. >>

2) I have a BSEE and MSEE when I started working as the Unix System Administrator. So, even though I do not know the operating system, I know

A) Microprocessor Design and Assembly Languages

B) Digital Logic Design

C) Transistor Design

D) Computer network

I could say that my foundation is more solid than a computer science graduate. The computer science graduate does not know the hardware.

<<I said the 4-course certification program was limited training, >>

3) My point is this. We all have to start somewhere. And, we would not know everything. So, folks like me would be willing to give someone a shot to start in this area if he/she show the initiative and proof that they could self-study and learn something. The specific courses and so on is less relevant to us. We could train/teach/coach anyone as long as they have the willingness to learn.

4) My point to you about our Cloud Architect has a B.S. in Finance is there are a fair amount of us out there. I am not an isolated incident.

KlangFool

jalbert
Posts: 3241
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by jalbert » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:17 pm

2) I have a BSEE and MSEE when I started working as the Unix System Administrator. So, even though I do not know the operating system, I know

A) Microprocessor Design and Assembly Languages

B) Digital Logic Design

C) Transistor Design

D) Computer network

I could say that my foundation is more solid than a computer science graduate. The computer science graduate does not know the hardware.
So we agree that a single course on Linux administration without other background would be very limited training to be a system administrator. That was my point.
Index fund investor since 1987.

KlangFool
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:47 pm

OP,

1) So, basically, take whatever class and/or training and get a cert on it.

2) Apply to the entry-level tech job via job posting or social network. Contact folks that work in the companies that you are interested in via Linkedin.

3) Hope for the best. You just need someone to give your kid a shot to start at this area.

KlangFool

delamer
Posts: 5096
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by delamer » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:23 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:47 pm
OP,

1) So, basically, take whatever class and/or training and get a cert on it.

2) Apply to the entry-level tech job via job posting or social network. Contact folks that work in the companies that you are interested in via Linkedin.

3) Hope for the best. You just need someone to give your kid a shot to start at this area.

KlangFool
Thank you — getting that first foot in the door is the primary goal for now.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by tony5412 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:01 am

I would suggest that Kid run from IT but that's just me. There are some recent threads here that illustrate that IT is not the field it once was. Kid can be successful, however, if Kid is passionate about the subject. That will help Kid remain employed in the field over the long run. If Kid does go the IT route, make sure Kid knows that his first job(s) will set the stage for the rest of his career and how it plays out. Encourage Kid to move around for better jobs and not tie himself down to one location. Good luck to Kid whether Kid goes into IT or another field. :)

gsmith
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:02 am

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Post by gsmith » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:32 am

A family member took an IT elective because it counted as a liberal arts collective for his undergrad, and his entire career stemmed from that experience. As a 2nd generation IT Consultant, I wanted to stress this is a career path not conductive to families, w/ lots of stress, and only something to consider if passionate.

IT is similar to:
- Plumbing before the invention of PVC piping
- Auto mechanics before interchangeable parts

The best advice I can offer is to specialize in one essential field, which is difficult to outsource:
Does he like visualizing word problems? A career in data reporting/business intelligence might be good
Does he like networking and Linux? Have him download "PBX in a Flash", and build his own phone system, and resell to businesses
Does he like communicating? Get him a MS Dynamics GP/AX cert, and he would be highly desirable to businesses who want to implement ERPs.

A graduate program would teach how to think, and the underlying concepts, but would never be as up to date (or depreciate as quickly) as a certificate. I'd spend $500 for a medium-level cert from MS/CompTIA/Cisco/Google cert and spread his resume around as soon as he gets it.

Post Reply